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Name: People v. Ellis
Case #: F063632
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/30/2012

The more favorable conduct credits available under the October 1, 2011 amendment to Penal Code section 4019 apply only to defendants whose crimes were committed on or after October 1. In several Kern County cases appellant entered plea agreements on September 9, 2011. On October 13, 2011 he was sentenced to county jail pursuant to section 1170, subdivision (h). Over appellant’s equal protection objection, the court awarded him presentence credits of 91 actual days plus 44 days of conduct credit. On appeal he asserted that he was entitled to have his presentence conduct credit calculated under amended section 4019, which provides more favorable credit. Affirmed. Under the 2011 Realignment Legislation, section 4019 was amended to provide that four days will be deemed served for every two days in custody – subdivision (h) expressly states the changes apply prospectively to prisoners who are confined for crimes committed on or after October 1, 2011. The reasoning of In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740 did not aid appellant because the October 1 amendment did not alter the punishment for a crime. As noted in People v. Brown (2012) 54 Cal.4th 314 (regarding the January 25, 2010 version), section 4019 “addresses future conduct in a custodial setting by providing increased incentives for good behavior.” Further, prospective application of the October 1 amendment does not violate the equal protection clause. Prisoners who served their time before and after the amendment took effect are not similarly situated with respect to the purposes of the law because the correctional goals of the statute are not served by rewarding prisoners who served their time before the amendment took effect and whose behavior was therefore not affected by the new law. Disagreeing with People v. Olague (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1126, the court held that appellant was not entitled to enhanced credit for his presentence custody time served on and after October 1, as the enhanced rate applies only to defendants who committed their crimes on or after October 1.